Jamie Collins

AFC Notes: Jets, Collins, Patriots, Colts

The Jets officially have a new regime in charge. After a lengthy search, New York settled on Joe Douglas to be their new general manager. The Douglas/Adam Gase partnership will certainly be an interesting one, and now all eyes are on how Douglas will proceed with the team. To predict how Douglas will manage the franchise, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com took a look back at his time in Philadelphia and the Eagles’ philosophy under Howie Roseman. Cimini came to several conclusions, including that Jets fans should “watch the early strike” and look for Douglas to wrap up cornerstone pieces aggressively.

Cimini notes the Eagles’ recent early extending of Carson Wentz as the latest example of that philosophy. He also writes that the Jets “have been lagging in this area,” and kicked the can down the road on many of their soon-to-be free agents like Leonard Williams and Robby Anderson. Cimini also has the scoop on some shuffling the Jets did in the front office, including promoting Greg Nejmeh to director of pro personnel. Cimini also writes that Douglas’ track record shows he’ll make the offensive line a priority. It’s “too late for a 2019 overhaul, but this will be one of the stories next offseason,” Cimini says. Keeping Sam Darnold upright is the most important thing for the team, so that would make a lot of sense.

Here’s more from the AFC on this quiet Sunday:

  • Speaking of the Jets, in the same piece, Cimini details what Douglas’ hiring means for some current members of the team. Cimini notes that Gase already got rid of a couple holdovers in Darron Lee and Jordan Leggett, and writes that “you can bet a few more of Mike Maccagnan’s former draft picks will be dropped in the coming months.” Specifically, he names wide receiver Charone Peake, running backs Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon, and defensive linemen Nathan Shepherd and Folorunso Fatukasi as among those in danger of being cut. The old coaching staff always swore by McGuire, but a lot of Todd Bowles’ favorites might find themselves on the outside looking in. Shepherd was the 72nd overall pick just last year, so his release would be particularly notable.
  • Jamie Collins was able to come back home when he signed with the Patriots a few weeks ago. The linebacker was drafted by the Pats in the second round back in 2013, and spent the first few years of his career there. He was traded to the Browns for a third round pick in 2016, and Cleveland gave him a massive extension. He never lived up to that deal, and he was released back in March. He only got $250K guaranteed from New England this time around, so many observers assumed he wouldn’t even be guaranteed a roster spot. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com was initially in that camp, but he’s changed his mind recently. After observing how they’ve used him in practice, Reiss now believes the Patriots “have significant plans for him as long as everything stays on course.” Reiss writes that he’s been practicing as one of the team’s top linebackers, and that “the biggest tip-off was his presence as the top right guard on the punt protection unit.” It sounds like Collins is at the very least a good bet to make the team, and could potentially earn back a large role on defense.
  • The Colts raised some eyebrows when they drafted Ben Banogu back in April. Indy took the pass-rusher in the second round, 49th overall. That was higher than many analysts had him pegged, as Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had him stamped with a fourth or fifth round grade. The Colts bet big on his excellent athleticism, and they’ve been experimenting with how to use it. They started him off as a SAM linebacker this offseason, but have been using him at defensive end more frequently recently, according to Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. The Colts’ defense took a huge step forward last season, and they’re hoping Banogu can help them continue that with his physical traits and speed.

Contract Details: Patriots, Edelman, Collins

A look at the details on recent deals from around the NFL:

  • Julian Edelman, WR (Patriots): Two-year extension. Worth $18.5MM, could increase to $25.5MM with incentives. $9.3MM tied to roster bonuses/performance incentives, $1.1MM in workout bonuses. Cap hits: $6.077MM (2019), $7.166MM (2020), $6.66MM (2021). Details via the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin (Twitter) and The Athletic’s Nick Underhill (Twitter).
  • Jamie Collins, LB (Patriots): One year (original story). $250K guarantee, $100K signing bonus, $900K base salary. $1.25MM injury guarantee. Earnings: $2MM (plays in all 16 games), $3MM (part-time starter), $5MM (starts all 16 games). $3MM cap hit. Details via Volin and via Underhill.
  • Brandon King, LB (Patriots): Two-year extension, $3.5MM. When combined with current deal, contract is three years, $4.875MM. 2019 salary increases from $1.175MM to $1.975MM, 2019 cap number increases from $1.359MM to $1.626MM. Details via Volin.

Patriots Sign Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins is back in New England. The Patriots have agreed to sign the linebacker, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not yet known. 

Collins huddled up with his old team on Wednesday and it didn’t take long for a deal to come together. Collins began his career with the Patriots in 2013 and was a staple of their defense up until 2016, when he was shipped to the Browns. His run in Cleveland didn’t go as planned, unfortunately, and ended with his release in March.

It’s possible that Collins has lost a step since his first run with the Pats, but he could theoretically return to form in Bill Belichick‘s system. When healthy, and motivated, Collins profiles as one of the better off-ball linebackers in the NFL.

Collins managed 138 tackles in 2014 and earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2015 after amassing 5.5 sacks. He was also a key contributor to the Pats’ 2014 team and helped defeat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots In Talks With Jamie Collins

The Patriots are in talks with free agent linebacker Jamie Collins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). If signed, the deal would bring Collins back to the team and system that made him a star. 

Collins became an integral part of the Patriots’ defense after being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft. He truly broke out in 2014 when he became a full-time starter for the club in 2014 and, in 2015, he earned his first ever Pro Bowl selection after notching 5.5 sacks, a strong showing for an off-the-ball linebacker.

Before the 2016 trade deadline, the Patriots shipped Collins to the Browns. Collins was in his contract year and pushing for a high-priced deal that the Patriots were unwilling to give him. Collins was also said to be “freelancing” – going into business for himself on plays to ensure that he would add to his tackle total. Clearly, that didn’t sit well with Bill Belichick & Co., but they could be willing to let bygones by bygones in 2019.

Collins’ Browns run came to an end in March when the Browns released him instead of paying him upwards of $10MM for the upcoming season. Last year, Collins registered 104 tackles and four sacks across 16 games, but he graded out as just the No. 58 ranked LB in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Release LB Jamie Collins

The Browns released Jamie Collins, according to a team announcement. The linebacker was due more than $10MM for 2019, an unpalatable amount given his lack of production last season. 

We want to thank Jamie for his contributions to the Cleveland Browns,” said general manager John Dorsey in a statement. “These types of decisions are never easy. Jamie is a respected veteran player in this league and we wish him the best as he continues his career.”

The Browns first tried to trade Collins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), but they were unable to find a taker. The Browns also tried to move Collins at last year’s trade deadline, but couldn’t get a deal done.

Of course, that’s not to say Collins is washed up. Last year, Collins registered 104 tackles and four sacks across 16 games and graded out as just the No. 58 ranked LB in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. However, his contract made him the highest-paid traditional linebacker in the league and he has not been performing at that level.

Collins joined the Browns in a mid-season trade with the Patriots in 2016. Collins was outstanding in New England, but the Patriots were unwilling to make a sizable commitment to him as his contract was drawing to a close. He also didn’t help his case by allegedly “freelancing” on defense in order to pad his stats.

Releasing Collins will give the Browns an additional $9.25MM in cap room versus just $2.5MM in dead money. The Browns now have approximately $81MM in cap space, giving them the third-highest total in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Notes: Collins, Johnson, Perriman

Although the Browns are not linked to a first-round quarterback for the first time in ages, this will be a pivotal offseason for a rising team. Here is the latest from Cleveland, courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot:

  • It’s a near-certainty Jamie Collins will not play on an $11.75MM cap number this season. The Browns are likely going to restructure that deal or make a move to trade or release the outside linebacker, Cabot notes. John Dorsey met with Collins’ agent over the weekend, and the second-year GM characterized the highly paid ‘backer’s 2018 season as inconsistent. Collins has been the NFL’s highest-paid off-ball linebacker for nearly two years, though his deal contains no more guarantees. It would save the Browns $9.25MM by cutting Collins. Cleveland has Christian Kirksey signed long-term and has received quality play from Joe Schobert, with newcomer Genard Avery showing promise as a rookie.
  • The Kareem Hunt addition has prompted other teams to inquire about Duke Johnson‘s availability, Cabot reports. Three teams are interested in Johnson, she adds, despite the Browns’ pass-catching back coming off a down year. Johnson signed an extension in 2018, but the Browns now have Hunt in the fold to play alongside Nick Chubb. Dorsey said last month Johnson’s roster spot is not in jeopardy “yet” and confirmed he remains committed to the receiving back, as a running back, going forward. Hunt’s suspension timetable remains uncertain, but it is likely he will draw a ban longer than six games, thus keeping the need for Johnson present.
  • Dorsey has been in contact with Breshad Perriman and agent Drew Rosenhaus about a possible re-up, but Cabot adds the sides are not close on terms. Dorsey said he would “love” to have the former first-round pick, who ran a 4.25-second 40-yard dash at the 2015 Combine, back due to his speed-size combination. A constant injury risk in Baltimore before being waived last year, Perriman caught just 16 passes with Cleveland. However, he posted a 21.3-yard average as an intriguing deep threat.
  • The Browns will give Greg Robinson another chance to earn their starting left tackle job, agreeing to a second contract with the former No. 2 overall pick.

Latest On Browns, Jamie Collins

Browns GM John Dorsey is scheduled to meet with agent Bus Cook on Friday to talk about the “long-term plan” for linebacker Jamie Collins (via Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer). Dorsey didn’t say it explicitly, but it sounds like the Browns will either ask Collins to restructure his deal or consider an outright release. 

The Browns acquired Collins from the Patriots via trade in 2016 and later signed him to a new four-year, $50MM contract. Collins missed the bulk of the 2017 season due to injury and had a so-so 2018, so the Browns probably don’t feel that he’s worth the expense. As it stands, Collins is under contract through 2020 with cap hits of $11.75MM and $13.75MM in each of the next two seasons. Releasing Collins would give the Browns an additional $9.25MM in cap room versus just $2.5MM in dead money.

Collins will celebrate his 30th birthday in October, midway through his seventh pro season. Last year, Collins registered 104 tackles and four sacks in his first 16-game season since his 2013 rookie campaign, but graded out as just the No. 58 ranked LB in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

There were some inconsistencies,’’ said Dorsey. “You don’t know what leads to it. He may have been nicked. There’s certain things that come. All I know is he’s a very talented football player and you can’t have enough of those guys on your team.”

Dorsey also wondered aloud whether Collins would fit into new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’ 4-3 scheme as an outside linebacker.

Once you understand the concepts that Steve is trying to apply, what it takes to have a position of success within the linebacker position, you want to make sure he fits that model,’’ said Dorsey. “Jamie is a good football player, so we’re going to sit and talk to his representatives, we’re going to go back as an organization and talk about all these different things and then we’ll make a decision here moving forward.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots Trades, Collins, Bills, Hughes, Jets, Sterling

The Patriots are annually one of the most aggressive teams in the league when it comes to adding talent, as evidenced by their recent trade for Josh Gordon. With the trade deadline now just a couple of days away, New England is looking to make more moves. The team wants “to acquire some help in the defensive front seven by the deadline Tuesday”, and “they’ve had internal discussions about trading for linebacker Jamie Collins“, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

The Patriots traded Collins to the Browns in 2016, and now apparently have some interest in bringing him back. It would be an unusual move with a player being traded twice between two teams, but the Browns would likely welcome the relief of getting out of Collins’ contract, and it sounds like the Patriots are interested. Collins signed a four-year $50MM deal with Cleveland in 2017, and hasn’t lived up to that deal so far. Whatever happens, it sounds like the Patriots’ defense will look a little different by this time next week.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes “has been a hot name on the trade market”, but the “Bills have been reluctant to part with him”, a source told Howe. Howe thinks that Hughes would “be a good fit for the Patriots”, but doesn’t think Buffalo will decide to part with him. Hughes has been having a good season, notching 4.5 sacks in seven games.
  • Jets tight end Neal Sterling “suffered his second concussion of the season” today against the Bears, and “likely will be lost [for] multiple games”, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link). The Jets are very thin at tight end, so this is a somewhat significant loss for New York.
  • Bills running back LeSean McCoy has cleared the concussion protocol and will play Monday night against the Patriots, the team announced in a tweet. It’s a huge boost for Buffalo’s struggling offense as they look to pull of the massive upset in primetime.

Extra Points: Bengals, Bucs, Browns, Chiefs, Broncos

Matt Barkley suffered a Grade 3 MCL sprain in Thursday night’s preseason game, which could end the veteran quarterback’s chance to serve as the Bengals‘ No. 2 signal-caller, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Barkley, whom Cincinnati inked to a two-year deal during the offseason, will likely be placed on injured reserve, although he could return later in the season. Given his lackluster play during the exhibition season, Barkley was likely going to lose out to Jeff Driskel in the Bengals’ backup quarterback battle even before injury luck intervened.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Buccaneers could make a waiver claim for a veteran backup offensive lineman over the weekend, but don’t expect them to orchestrate any trades, tweets Greg Auman of The Athletic. Starting left tackle Donovan Smith is expected to be sidelined for another one-to-three weeks after suffering a knee sprain earlier this month, so Tampa Bay could certainly aim to add bodies to its front five. However, offensive tackle depth is sparse league-wide, so it’s unclear if the Bucs will be able to find any competent options. At present, journeyman Michael Liedtke is set to fill in for Smith if the latter misses regular season action.
  • The Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Wednesday after he was shockingly charged with insider trading, but the 27-year-old had been performing so well in Cleveland that other clubs believed fellow ‘backer Jamie Collins was available via trade, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Crucially, Breer does not indicate the Browns were shopping Collins or had any intention of moving him, but the mere fact that rival teams believed Collins could be had is notable. Cleveland sent a third-round pick to New England in exchange for Collins in 2016, and subsequently re-signed him to a four-year, $50MM contract the following year. Collins, who played in only six games last season before going on injured reserve with a torn MCL, will join Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert as Cleveland’s starting linebackers.
  • Orlando Scandrick‘s one-year deal with the Chiefs contains a base salary of $915K and includes up to $500K in per-game roster bonuses, reports Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Scandrick had already collected $1MM in guarantees from the Redskins, who signed the veteran defensive back in March before releasing him earlier this month. Now that Steven Nelson has returned to Chiefs practice, Scandrick is competing with David Amerson for Kansas City’s third corner role.
  • Broncos linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering a torn ACL, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Garcia-Williams appeared in 11 games for Denver last season after going undrafted out of Hawaii, but was primarily limited to special teams duty (he saw only 23 defensive snaps). Speculatively, Garcia-Williams’ injury could open the door for the Broncos to reunite with fellow linebacker Corey Nelson, who was released by the Eagles on Sunday.

Browns’ Jamie Collins Done For Season

Browns linebacker Jamie Collins is done for the season with a torn MCL, coach Hue Jackson announced. Collins has officially been placed on the injured reserve list, per a team announcement. Jamie Collins (vertical)

Collins was injured after pulling down his first interception of the season in the first quarter of action. Although he was able to walk off of the field under his own power, doctors diagnosed him with an MCL injury after the game. Today, he was informed that the tear was severe and would require several months of rest.

Collins, 27, re-signed with the Browns this offseason on a four-year, $50MM contract. At the time, the former Patriot probably had higher hopes for the Browns rebuild. After yesterday’s loss, the Browns have now sank to 0-9 on the year.

The linebacker’s season ends with 31 total tackles, one interception, one sack, one forced fumble, and three pass deflections.

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus has him rated as one of the worst qualified linebackers in the NFL this year with a 35.9 overall score. He had a similarly disappointing 47.6 mark last year, a major drop from his work with the Pats in ’14 and ’15.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.